Review of Metaphysics 25 (3):566-567 (1972)

This collection of essays in moral philosophy has as its intended mark of distinction the fact that moral problems of the moment are the themes of the essays. The chapter headings indicate this contemporary concern: Abortion, Sex, Human Rights and Civil Disobedience, Criminal Punishment, Violence and Pacifism, War and Suicide and Death. There are essays by: Paul Ramsey, Philippa Foot, Jonathan Bennett, Thomas Nagel, Sara Ruddick, Richard Wassenstrom, [[sic]] John Rawls, R. M. Dworkin, William Kneale, H. L. A. Hart, J. R. Lucas, Newton Carver, Jan Narveson, G. E. M. Anscombe, R. M. Hare, R. F. Holland, Mary Mothersill. One might well be inclined to agree with the editor's opposition to such philosophizing about morality which abstracts from the moral problems of one's own life. A purely theoretical approach to the study of morality would almost appear contradictory. However, it is necessary to express grave reservations about such a collection of essays as this. While the arguments of the essays are thoughtful and somewhat uncommon, the conclusions of the essays, as a rule, do not differ from "advanced" liberal opinions. In other words, the essays do not challenge students' opinions. The reading of these essays will but confirm the young in their prejudices. The problems the essays are concerned with are real problems; and it is a defect of the book that with the single exception of the chapter on Abortion no real opposing arguments are presented.--J. W. S.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph197225337
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